american flag and poltical direct mail

From Mailbox to Ballot Box, Part 3

Using Direct Mail to Reach Voters
By Karen Loggia

Direct mail delivers your message with an impact that adds up on Election Day. The Postal Service’s dedicated political mail website, Deliver the Win™, gives a comprehensive overview of how to use direct mail, and we’ve been highlighting the key points in this blog series. In Part 3, we talk about who you can target with direct mail.

The voters you’re trying to reach are diverse and dispersed. How can you target the right voters with the right message? The USPS® has researched targeting strategies that can help your candidate in the next election, and they include geographic and demographic targeting, along with “get out the vote” activities—including some that focus on absentee voters.

Geographic Targeting

USPS direct mail professionals can help you target political mailings based on area and specific political districts. Coupled with your campaign’s data, you can select recipients and tailor your message directly to your audience.

Demographic Targeting

Along with geographically targeting voters, you can target specific demographics. Through research conducted by the USPS and their partners, we have key takeaways from many demographics:


According to the census bureau and as stated by the USPS in their “Reaching Women Voters” download, the majority of eligible voters are woman. Women generally trust mail over online and TV ads, and trust mail more than men do. Furthermore, 63% of women say political mail made them an informed voter.

Two-thirds of women voters said they are likely to read a piece of mail if it includes: biographical information on the candidate, information on the candidate’s positions, and the candidate’s voting record or past statements.

Swing Voters:

Political mail can persuade and motivate swing voters. Swing voters are more likely to rate political mail as more helpful than TV or digital ads. Nearly a third of those surveyed considered voting early before the 2016 election, but were unaware of voting options. The knowledge gap of swing voters presents a key opportunity to send political direct mail that not only highlights your candidate but also includes key information about how, where and when to vote.

Gen X and Baby Boomers:Political Direct mail chart

Generation X (ages 36 to 51) and Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 71) represent a significant target for political campaigns, together accounting for 57% of eligible voters. For those surveyed, political mail spurs conversation with friends and family, as well as online research. From a 2016 USPS report:

Political direct mail has a tremendous opportunity to get the word out about your candidate, both to the recipient and their circle.


We’ve seen plenty of evidence in contrast to the common misconception that millennials do not respond to anything that is not electronic. Millennials love direct mail —they’re more likely to read a piece of direct mail than any other age group1!

As we mentioned in our second Ballot Box blog, the majority of millennials have been living at the same address long enough—and checking their mailbox frequently enough—to be good targets for political mail. And as with other demographics, millennials tell us that political mail often serves as a conversation starter. After reading political mail, they talk to their family or friends about it.

When comparing national, state and local elections, older millennials (between the ages of 26 and 34) are more likely to rate political mail as more important in down-ballot, or state and local elections than national.

Get Out the Vote

Campaign research can help you pinpoint which voters need a direct mail reminder that it’s time to vote, and which voters are less likely to go to the polls. With some potential voters, a direct mail nudge toward an absentee ballot may be just the encouragement they need!

This information can be included on a mailing about your candidate. Remember—easy to understand information and a clear, concise call to action is critical.

Win with Tension

The vote has been tallied! When it comes to targeting the right voters to maximize your campaign dollars, political direct mail is a winner. Contact us today to discover how we can give your campaign a winning edge!


"I have used political mail to..." chart from the USPS Infographic "How political mail influences Generation X and Baby Boomers."

digital direct mail
Want to read more in this series?

Check out Mailbox to Ballot Part, Part 4 on crossing the digital divide with political direct mail.


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